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Since Wes Montgomery passed nearly 47 years ago (June 15,1968) there has been very little “new and unheard” material released. But there is a “new” Wes Montgomery recording released this month.
“In The Beginning” is now available on Resonance Records. It is a two CD set which is also available on 3 vinyl discs as well. When Buddy Montgomery (brother of Wes) passed a few years ago his wife unveiled several reels of live recordings of the Montgomery Brothers. The recordings were done at clubs in the Indianapolis area.
In addition there are several tracks from a Montgomery Brothers project recorded in 1955 for Columbia that was never released and essentially forgotten.
Wes sounds great on these recordings even though they are somewhat rough but the live and in the moment atmosphere only makes them more exciting in my estimation.
The package also comes with a 55 page booklet that contains excerpts from Buddy Montgomery’s autobiography and testimonials from several jazz writers and, believe it or not, Pete Townsend.
It is an impressive package and one that any fan of Wes should have.
There is a long list of musicians who have turned my head but among those at the top of that list is certainly Wayne Shorter. Though it may not be apparent at first blush, he has influenced me tremendously as a composer.
The almost “Webern-like” compression of his forms and highly efficient use of space and harmony is wonderful and something I try, in my own humble way, to emulate.
I especially like among his new records Alegria.
But he has done so much great stuff it is hard to pick one.
I always learn when I listen to Wayne Shorter.
If I had to name my top five Jazz guitar albums it would go something like this:
1) Intercontinental- Joe Pass (1970)
2) Live- Pat Martino (1972)
3) Down Here On the Ground- Wes Montgomery (1968)
4) A Night at the Vanguard- Kenny Burrell (1959)
5) any Django Reinhardt “greatest” collection